Ryan Newman takes pole for the NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Bristol
|By Diego Mejia||Friday, August 26th 2011, 23:07 GMT|
Ryan Newman claimed pole position for Saturday night's NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Bristol.
The Stewart Haas driver set the benchmark with a lap time of 15.624 seconds in his Chevrolet, beating the previous mark set by Hendrick Motorsports' Jeff Gordon.
Carl Edwards was last in the order for his run after topping both practice sessions earlier in the day, the Roush Fenway Ford driver coming closest to Newman on his way to the outside of the front row of the grid.
"It was a good lap but it didn't feel that fast, I will tell you that," said Newman, who won a sprint car race at Bristol just 48 hours ago.
"Momentum is a part of it but we're in a good position right now and we've just got to make the most of it. We've got a lot of things going our way. This is a track position race, starting up front and having a good pit selection, we'll just need to keep our nose clean tomorrow night."
Newman's pole is his second of the season in the Cup, the first coming last month at New Hampshire when he led an all Stewart Haas front row and went on to win.
This time though it was a bittersweet day for the team as Newman's team-mate Tony Stewart aborted his qualifying run and will start from the back of the grid.
Edwards' team-mate Matt Kenseth and Jeff Gordon will start from the second row while veteran Mark Martin - the most consistent driver on race pace in final practice - rounded out the top five ahead of Earnhardt Ganassi's Jamie McMurray and Richard Childress driver Paul Menard.
Penske's Brad Keselowski continued to carry momentum with eighth place on the grid in his Dodge as he continues to close on a Chase spot. He showed the best consistency of all in the first practice session of the day.
Joe Gibbs Racing's Joey Logano was the best of the Toyota's in ninth ahead of Keselowski's team-mate Kurt Busch.
Joe Nemechek was the fastest of the non-guaranteed drivers in 28th. Scott Speed was 36th on his Cup return with Whitney Motorsports while TJ Bell, JJ Yeley and Jeff Green - who spun on his qualifying run - failed to make the field.
Pos Driver Team/Car Time Gap 1. Ryan Newman Stewart Haas Chevrolet 15.624s 2. Carl Edwards Roush Fenway Ford 15.642s + 0.018s 3. Matt Kenseth Roush Fenway Ford 15.643s + 0.019s 4. Jeff Gordon Hendrick Chevrolet 15.654s + 0.030s 5. Mark Martin Hendrick Chevrolet 15.658s + 0.034s 6. Jamie McMurray Earnhardt Ganassi Chevrolet 15.659s + 0.035s 7. Paul Menard Childress Chevrolet 15.676s + 0.052s 8. Brad Keselowski Penske Dodge 15.683s + 0.059s 9. Joey Logano Gibbs Toyota 15.688s + 0.064s 10. Kurt Busch Penske Dodge 15.699s + 0.075s 11. Marcos Ambrose Petty Ford 15.715s + 0.091s 12. Regan Smith Furniture Row Chevrolet 15.721s + 0.097s 13. Jimmie Johnson Hendrick Chevrolet 15.725s + 0.101s 14. Greg Biffle Roush Fenway Ford 15.725s + 0.101s 15. Kevin Harvick Childress Chevrolet 15.727s + 0.103s 16. Clint Bowyer Childress Chevrolet 15.727s + 0.103s 17. David Gilliland Front Row Ford 15.736s + 0.112s 18. AJ Allmendinger Petty Ford 15.738s + 0.114s 19. Juan Pablo Montoya Earnhardt Ganassi Chevrolet 15.755s + 0.131s 20. Denny Hamlin Gibbs Toyota 15.760s + 0.136s 21. Jeff Burton Childress Chevrolet 15.765s + 0.141s 22. Dale Earnhardt Jr Hendrick Chevrolet 15.775s + 0.151s 23. Kyle Busch Gibbs Toyota 15.785s + 0.161s 24. David Ragan Roush Fenway Ford 15.787s + 0.163s 25. Kasey Kahne Red Bull Toyota 15.793s + 0.169s 26. Brian Vickers Red Bull Toyota 15.820s + 0.196s 27. Martin Truex Jr Waltrip Toyota 15.822s + 0.198s 28. Joe Nemechek NEMCO Toyota 15.835s + 0.211s 29. Casey Mears Germain Toyota 15.839s + 0.215s 30. Bobby Labonte JTG Daugherty Toyota 15.843s + 0.219s 31. David Stremme Inception Chevrolet 15.875s + 0.251s 32. Michael McDowell HP Toyota 15.879s + 0.255s 33. Travis Kvapil Front Row Ford 15.894s + 0.270s 34. David Reutimann Waltrip Toyota 15.901s + 0.277s 35. Dave Blaney Baldwin Chevrolet 15.930s + 0.306s 36. Scott Speed Whitney Ford 15.949s + 0.325s 37. David Starr Leavine Ford 15.970s + 0.346s 38. Andy Lally TRG Chevrolet 16.012s + 0.388s 39. Robby Gordon Gordon Dodge 16.012s + 0.388s 40. Mike Bliss Phoenix Chevrolet 16.049s + 0.425s 41. Terry Labonte FAS Lane Ford 16.306s + 0.682s 42. Tony Stewart Stewart Haas Chevrolet 16.485s + 0.861s 43. Landon Cassill Germain Toyota 16.089s + 0.465s Did not qualify: TJ Bell LTD Toyota 16.103s + 0.479s JJ Yeley Front Row Ford 16.116s + 0.492s Tony Raines Front Row Ford 16.302s + 0.678s